Gbinije explodes for 16 points after halftime, leads Syracuse to overtime win over Wake Forest

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 14, 2015 at 12:21 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse As Wake Forest celebrated a near-halfcourt buzzer-beater just before halftime, Syracuse forward Michael Gbinije trudged toward the locker room. Codi Miller-McIntyre had just given the Demon Deacons a one-point lead and Gbinije had just one point. While his teammates conversed, Gbinije fixed his eyes on the tunnel behind the Orange’s bench. He had just been yelled at, over and over, by SU head coach Jim Boeheim for a flurry of defensive mistakes. His shirt was halfway untucked in the front and soaked in sweat everywhere else. In the locker room, Gbinije was approached by Boeheim and then by SU assistant coach Adrian Autry. They both told him he wasn’t doing enough. “They didn’t ask this but he made me realize if I was really satisfied with one point,” Gbinije said. “I really wasn’t at all.”That’s exactly how Gbinije played — unsatisfied — in the second half and overtime of Syracuse’s (13-4, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) 86-83 win over Wake Forest (9-9, 1-4) in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night. After finishing the first half with six rebounds and four assists to go with his point, Gbinije handled the game for the entire stretch run while collecting 17 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and making three 3s on five attempts. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRakeem Christmas netted a career-high 35 points and Trevor Cooney poured in 21, but it was Gbinije’s mid-game resurrection that breathed new life into a team that needed every bit of its energy to fend off the Demon Deacons. “We need Mike. We need Mike to score and we need Mike to do what he can do,” Cooney said. “In the first half he just wasn’t as aggressive as he can be and needs to be. In the second half he showed us who he really is.”The wings of Syracuse’s zone came out flat in the team’s first game without freshman forward Chris McCullough, and Gbinije received the brunt of Boeheim’s frustration. After Wake Forest forward Konstantinos Mitoglou — who finished with 26 points and missed just three shots, all 3s — hit back-to-back jumpers on Gbinije’s side in the first half, Boeheim audibly scolded the forward. “Mike! Mike! Mike!” Boeheim yelled, scrunching his nose and taking a step over the sideline and onto the court. Later in the half, Gbinije rotated late and softly fouled Greg McClinton on a layup that banked into the net. Again, Boeheim laid into Gbinije as McClinton’s ensuing free throw gave the Demon Deacons a 30-27 lead. “Mike!” Just once this time, but louder. “He was yelling at me and I think it was well-deserved. I definitely was messing up at times,” Gbinije said. “I was still out there so I definitely had to do something.”And he did. A 3-pointer to pull Syracuse within four with 9:56 left in the second half. A layup to push the Orange ahead by two at the 2:25 mark. Two free throws to expand the hosts’ cushion to three points with 23 seconds on the regulation clock — all while handling Syracuse’s point guard duties as freshman Kaleb Joseph looked on from the bench. Then Cornelius Hudson made his first shot of the game, a 3 that knotted the score at 71-71, and Boeheim put the game in Gbinije’s hands. His layup attempt rolled out in the last seconds of regulation, but he hit a midrange jumper, pull-up 3 and free throw to score six of the Orange’s 15 overtime points. After the game, Boeheim wasn’t yelling Mike anymore. Instead, he muttered the forward’s name as one of the players that led SU to its hardest-earned win of the season. Said Boeheim: “Those three guys — Mike, Trevor and Rak — were outstanding.” Commentslast_img

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